covenant

1 of 2

noun

cov·​e·​nant ˈkəv-nənt How to pronounce covenant (audio)
ˈkə-və-
1
: a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement : compact
… international law, which depends upon the sanctity of covenants between rulers.George H. Sabine
2
a
: a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action
the deed conveying the land contained restrictive covenants
b
: the common-law action to recover damages for breach of such a contract
covenantal adjective

covenant

2 of 2

verb

cov·​e·​nant ˈkəv-nənt How to pronounce covenant (audio)
-ˌnant,
ˈkə-və-
covenanted; covenanting; covenants

transitive verb

: to promise by a covenant : pledge

intransitive verb

: to enter into a covenant : contract

Examples of covenant in a Sentence

Noun an international covenant on human rights The restrictive covenants of the building development prohibit the construction of buildings over 30 feet tall. Verb a traditional rule held that a husband could not enter into a covenant with his wife, because that was the equivalent of covenanting with himself the home buyers had to covenant that they would restore and keep the house for at least 10 years in exchange for a low mortgage rate
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Many of these restrictive covenants can still be found on Milwaukee-area property deeds. Amy Schwabe, Journal Sentinel, 7 Feb. 2024 The Supreme Court struck down these laws but the real estate industry then changed tactics and used deed covenants. Jacques Kelly, Baltimore Sun, 3 Feb. 2024 Win approval from the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office – the holder of the covenant – for any physical changes to the boat. The Enquirer, 1 Jan. 2024 Hotel du Couvent, Nice, France (June 2024) The Perseus group—the same company behind Le Pigalle in Paris—is busy restoring a 17th-century covenant in Nice and transforming it into a luxury hotel. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 27 Dec. 2023 Racially restrictive covenants like this were commonplace in Los Angeles County in the early 1900s, ending only after the U.S. Supreme Court and federal law barred their enforcement. Jaclyn Cosgrove, Los Angeles Times, 6 Feb. 2024 Restrictive covenants, sometimes referred to as racial covenants have been documented in thousands of properties in the Twin Cities in recent years thanks to a University of Minnesota initiative aimed at digging them up. Alex Derosier, Twin Cities, 24 Jan. 2024 In fact, the parcel the library and community center sits on has one such 20th century restrictive covenant attached to the back half of the plot, prohibiting multifamily apartment housing. Meagan Flynn, Washington Post, 18 Jan. 2024 That should be the covenant made by any player who opts for early entry in the draft. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 10 Jan. 2024
Verb
USA TODAY NETWORK LOS ANGELES — Alien: Covenant edged out Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in a weekend space battle at the box office. Sandy Cohen, USA TODAY, 21 May 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'covenant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from present participle of covenir to be fitting, from Latin convenire

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of covenant was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near covenant

Cite this Entry

“Covenant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/covenant. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

covenant

1 of 2 noun
cov·​e·​nant ˈkəv-(ə-)nənt How to pronounce covenant (audio)
: a solemn agreement : contract

covenant

2 of 2 verb
cov·​e·​nant ˈkəv-(ə-)nənt How to pronounce covenant (audio)
-ə-ˌnant
1
: to promise by a covenant : pledge
2
: to enter into a covenant

Legal Definition

covenant

noun
cov·​e·​nant ˈkə-və-nənt How to pronounce covenant (audio)
1
: an official agreement or compact
an international covenant on human rights
2
a
: a contract in its entirety or a promise within a contract for the performance or nonperformance of a particular act
a covenant not to sue
specifically : a promise relating to the transfer, possession, or ownership of real property see also covenant not to compete, restrictive covenant
b
: a warranty in a deed assuring the grantee especially against defects in title
a covenant for quiet enjoyment
see also run
3
: a common-law action to recover damages for breach of a contract under seal compare assumpsit, debt
covenant verb

More from Merriam-Webster on covenant

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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